Happy Friday and greetings from London! The past two mornings, while in London for work, I was able to spend some time at one of my favorite workout spots – Barry’s Bootcamp.
For those of you who are long time readers, you may remember that Barry’s Bootcamp actually helped us stay in shape and run half marathon PRs after we broke up with my personal trainer. I’ve written a few posts previously about my experiences back in NYC including my first Barry’s Bootcamp experience almost two years ago.
For the rest of you, I thought I’d share a review of Barry’s Bootcamp in case you’re interested in trying it yourself. Many people often say they are intimidated by it so I figured this post could help you realize that while it may seem intimidating, it will instead help you realize your abilities and provide you with some great treadmill and weight moves you can incorporate into your own future workouts.
What is it? Barry’s Bootcamp is a Los Angeles based company which has now expanded to 13 different cities including locations in England and Norway! Started back in 1998, the workout advertises that it offers the “best workout in the world.” While that is quite subjective, I will promise you that during the hour long class you will definitely get an efficient workout that burns calories and tones muscles! The 60 minute class includes a total of 25-30 minutes on the treadmill, 25-30 minutes of weights/plyometric moves and a cool-down stretch. You can choose whether you want to start the class on the treadmill or on the floor. I love starting with the treadmill portion but Bo loves starting with the floor, it’s totally personal! Most classes break up the portions by doing a total of 2 10-15 minute treadmill pieces with 2 10-15 minute floor sessions. This provides a great break and allows you to work a different set of muscles before getting back on the treadmill. The schedule alternates so that each day there is a different body group or focus for the floor portion (Arms and Abs; Legs Butt and Shoulders; Chest Back and Abs; Hardcore Abs; or Full Body). You will be able to see the day’s focus when you sign up online.
What should I wear? You will see everything and anything in the classes as it still attracts some people who are clad in the latest and greatest workout styles while others wear head to toe Barry’s paraphernalia. In a way, the outfits and crowd are similar to Soul Cycle and other cult workouts as they love the workout as much as they love the brand itself. I tend to wear either shorts and a tank or breathable, lightweight crops and a tank. I always wear my lightest pair of running shoes as the treadmill portion is a speed workout and sport a headband to ensure my hair isn’t falling in my face. Whatever you wear, make sure you’re ready to sweat and possibly be in a warm room as certain locations get quite warm.
Will I be able to finish the workout? What will it be like? The treadmill portion is challenging but the great news is that you control the intensity. The instructor will give suggested speed and incline levels, typically providing a range. However, if you’ve told them it’s your first time, you’re a beginner or recovering from injury they will never pressure you to go beyond your ability. They save that motivation for more experienced people who aren’t new or who want to challenge. Expect the treadmill portion to be no longer than 10-12 minutes and include some sprints and some inclines. The floor portion usually features hand weights which you can also choose to make as light or heavy as you want. Most moves are dynamic or compound, meaning that they include two moves in one such as a squat and overhead press or weighted tricep dips. Make sure to watch the instructors form to ensure you know who to properly complete the move and go at your own pace.
Is there music? Oh heck yes there is music! Each instructor has their personal style but I promise you that you will be running or pushing your body to the beat.
Tips to ensure you have a great first Barry’s Bootcamp experience
- Class reservations can be made a week in advance via phone or their website
- Classes tend to fill quickly
- There are lockers with locks, showers, and a fuel bar serving smoothies at almost all locations. Most locations also include blow dryers and shower products but call ahead or check site to confirm.
- Arrive early as most locations can be a bit chaotic.
- Class prices vary by city but are around $30. There are packages and corporate discounts which can help reduce the price.
- Each location has a different cancellation policy but average is 12 hours in advance.
- Always tell the teacher if you have injuries or it is your first time so they can support you and make adjustments.
Have you tried Barry’s Bootcamp or a similar class? Have any other questions about the workout?